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Trade Rumors: Boston Bruins Showing Interest In Detroit’s Merrill

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It might be time for Boston Bruins fans to lower their expectations a bit headed into Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

There’s still every possibility they might end up with some offensive help like Taylor Hall up front, but it may be a more modest approach on the back end where injuries have forced the B’s into dressing 12 different D-men in this compacted NHL season. There were whispers on Saturday night that the Bruins are one of the teams in the running for veteran Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill as the deadline approaches on Monday.

The “Friedman” is, of course, Elliotte Friedman during Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. The 29-year-old Merrill has five assists in 36 games along with a plus-2 rating for the Wings this season but has been a solid veteran left shot defenseman for the New Jersey Devils and Golden Knights over the previous seven seasons. He’d be a cheap acquisition ($925,000) and would bring some needed veteran defensive presence to the left side where youngsters Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril have struggled this season, and where Matt Grzelcyk has missed 12 games over three plus months as a top-4 defenseman this season.

The cost wouldn’t be much more than a non-first round draft pick or a B-level prospect for Merrill, and that may be part of the draw to him at this point.

Certainly, the Boston Bruins would have had a need for players like New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri or Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard, but it’s clear at this point that Don Sweeney is loathe to give up another first round pick at this season’s trade deadline.

It’s something the Bruins have done a couple of times over the last few years and it’s left the B’s prospect cupboard somewhat bare beyond guys like Jack Studnicka, Jakub Lauko, Urho Vaakanainen, Jeremy Swayman, Dan Vladar and Johnny Beecher. Sweeney also seems hesitant to give up any of his top prospects in a trade as the B’s transition some of their older core group, and that really limits his targets at the deadline.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Merrill had career-highs of three goals and 15 points in 2018-19 for the Vegas Golden Knights, so he isn’t going to tangibly impact the Black and Gold’s puck-moving problems. But Merrill is a bona fide NHL defenseman that can defend and make NHL plays, and that’s something the Bruins haven’t always had this season with their patchwork blue line group.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Don Sweeney Failure

I’m surprised he isn’t luring Lee Stepniak out of retirement. Remember Donny, your inexcusably bad drafting put you in this situation

Zero assets 4 Don

All of the “top” prospects you mention are unproven scrubs at best. Who thinks John Beecher is actually going to be good in the NHL? The kid can’t even score in college. Just like we thought, nobody thinks as highly of these fringe prospects as Don Sweeney. They aren’t even tradable

Rick W Murray

AHHHHHH COME ON!!! NOT AGAIN!!!! Please fire Sweeney if he gets Merrill, who is average at best. Fans have to get up and say something and get Sweeney out of Beantown He’s done this far too often he always gets away with everything! keep away from Merril he’s not going help Boston’s predicament! Also I agree with a fellow poster Beecher another waste of a draft pick he can’t score. In college four goals in like 16 or 18 games terrible, another Zack Zeronishon.

Yup

Right lol. It’s like we’ve gone so long without seeing first round draft pick that people are trying to pretend Beecher isn’t an average 3rd to 4th round talent at best. Our most threatening prospect is a kid with one NHL goal in like 20 games. Sweeney defenders can point to like the two things he’s done right but a broken clock is still right twice a day. The Bergeron line, along with the players he let walk this season and never replaced, covered for his incompetence over the past five years and now there’s nowhere to hide. Don Sweeney… Read more »

Tony Vee

I think Sweeney and the boys have done a great job. It’s been a tough year. We were going to be weak on D this year, with injuries w Griz, Mac, Laz and Zeeb had no backing. Look at our 2 goalies look at who we have. Not a chance we want to make any stupid moves just to satisfy some negativity. With some more scoring from Pasta Dbrusk Cole and others, we can pull out of this. We’re not hitting the back of the net period. We have the guys,we have the coaching. We need to stand by our… Read more »

Accountability

Excuse central USA. I’m not buying that garbage anymore. This was the last year they had before a very steady regression….. and eventually a rebuild. A nuclear rebuild? Nah… but it’s over. Look at Tampa and Colorado there’s no chance. I love this team but there’s no chance

Brian

This core hasn’t had the pieces for years now to win the cup. That’s all on sweeny. Him being affraid to go big and try make little deals have cost them multiple cups. Our core has been sold for years only being 1 or two good pieces away from really having a chance. If tampa and even the leafs with no Cap space and pull all these crazy moves to get decent guys idk how sweeny can’t ever land one decent player. The cup final agenst the blues was a fluke. Won’t ever see that again

Gary L Tingley

Here are three to go, (1)John Ferguson Jr look what he did to the Leafs (2) President #8 (3) Over his head Sweeney. Time to check the facts on 2015, JFJ was there he was in Keiths ear whispering (Barzel is too small)Time to look outside of the organization and get new younger blood. Lastly do not support these cheap owners. Do not buy their beer, wings, popcorn.. PS I love the Bruins having a hard time believing a team can have 5 legitimate players and no depth. most of the depth guys can hustle,skate but I think in practice… Read more »

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